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Can you pay a referral fee to a lawyer for a matter in which they are not certified? (not a civil trial lawyer in a PI case)

Trenton, NJ |

the lawyer recieving the referral is now under temporary ethics suspension but the events occurred before and have nothing to do with the referral case.

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Filed under: Professional ethics
Attorney answers 3


Can't pay referral fees in NJ.


No, I agree with my colleague.

Leonard R. Boyer, Esq. 201-.675-.5577. If you found this Answer helpful, please mark it as "Best Answer" Please be advised that the answer above is only general in nature cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. It is your responsibility to retain a lawyer to analyze the facts specific to your particular situation in order to give you specific advice. Specific answers will require cognizance of all pertinent facts about your case. Any answers offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship.


An attorney who has been certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey is permitted to send a referral fee to the referring lawyer, regardless whether the referring lawyer is certified or not. A lawyer who is not certified may not send a referral fee to another lawyer, but may pay the referring lawyer a reasonable sum for the amount of work the referring lawyer put into the case before referring it. This is called quantum meruit. Whether the lawyer receiving the referral fee can cash the check while under suspension depends on the underlying basis for the suspension and the terms of the order of suspension and I do not have enough information to comment.

A response to a question posted on Avvo is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship. It is informational only. Allan E. Richardson, Esq. Richardson, Galella & Austermuhl 142 Emerson ST., Woodbury, NJ 08096 856-579-7045.

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